2017 and 2018 sales from the Middlesmoor Herdwick flock.
Over the years I have kept Herdwicks I have been fortunate to have the time and the numbers of sheep to enable me to know each animal as an individual.
Since the start with my two shearling ewes from Harry Hinde in 1991, I have kept pedigree breeding records and today in the fields there are sheep tracking back to the different blood lines developed over all those years. Partly because of this knowledge and partly because I’ve recognised that individual sheep are entirely distinctive from one another – and partly because I’m getting older and lives matter more, it is important to me that the sheep I sell go to homes where they will continue to be appreciated.
A huge thank you to all those who have taken on sheep from the Middlesmoor Herdwicks - it is great to know they are in good and caring homes.
Also, because sheep take time and money to look after, if you can, you may as well look after sheep that contribute high quality to the breed’s genetics. There have been exceptions – and always will be - when maybe an individual somehow catches your attention and you know ‘its not going anywhere’…
In October 2015, I decided to buy a new tup shearling at Cockermouth tup sales. He was a young Ullswater lad bred by AS and CJ Hodgson of Glencoyne Bridge and is full of potential, very bright with a tight well coloured coat and an overall excellent conformation with a leg most definitely at each corner. He went with all my shearlings and 2 shears from Goofy as well as those from the young Turner Hall tup I had borrowed. My older ewes went to the full brother of Goofy’s son that was breed champion as a shearling at the Yorkshire in 2014. The Ullswater tup is now with Anthony Hartley at Turner Hall, but with my ewes produced a uniformly excellent group of lambs, who are waiting for tup registration or female approval in the coming weeks. These will then be on their way to good homes within a month or so.
Last tupping time, in October 2016, I was fortunate to borrow a shearling tup owned and bred by Fluff Wright a friend and Herdwick breeder in Scotland. it was a very special opportunity since the tup’s mum had originated from my flock from a line off an original Harry Hinde ewe. As luck would have it, the tup’s mother was a sibling to the first tup I bred who went on to get a first in his class and a reserve champion at the Yorkshire Show. This ewe had been put to one of Anthony Hartley’s favorite tups, one bred by James Reebank, and in Scotland the ewe had gone on to produce a pair of super tup lambs. One of which, last year as a shearling came over to Middlesmoor for a few weeks holiday in Yorkshire.
His offspring are lovely and I am taking all of his gimmer lambs through to shearlings. Due to both hip and knee replacement operations in the coming 9 months, for the first time in 25 years I have decided not to lamb next year and not to bring on tup lambs to shearlings.
Next year though in September - with a fair wind and bits of plastic replacing bone, I hope to be selling some beautiful gimmer shearlings.
Background to the breeding lines used to produce my current flock genetics
In 2012 I was very fortunate to be able to buy a superb tup bred by Stanley Jackson. He won numerous shows and I used him for two breeding seasons, as well as keeping a store of his semen at Innovis.
Known as ‘Goofy’, after his two breeding seasons with me, I offered the tup to the Breed Society as an opportunity of enabling young breeders to bring approved females to him for tupping - both as a way to help them in their shepherding careers and to help improve the genetics of the breed. The photo on the right above, shows him in Cumbria with Anthony Hartley. Its great news that one of his offspring from the 2014 initiative, a tup lamb owned by George Purcell, was placed every time George showed him. All of his male offspring were registered as shearlings and were sold to breeders across the UK where they have continued to extend his quality. I kept many of his female offspring - known at home as the Goofy girls - and season after season they go on to produce big boned strong offspring with ‘teeth to die for’.
Goofy’s offspring from the Middlesmoor flock have also won prizes and one of his shearlings off a ewe of mine [a 7th generation descendent from my first Harry Hinde ewe] won Herdwick Breed Champion at the 2014 Great Yorkshire Show - as shown below. The same year, the shearling went on to also win his class at the Westmoreland Show and was Reserve Breed Champion. Its great that that tup, Ethan is his registration name, is now producing great lambs at the farm of Michael and Carol Crawshaw..
A full brother to this tup is shown as a tup lamb in the photograph below
The two tups shown below also contribute to the genetics of my current ewes. The old guy on the left is homebred off a Turner Hall tup and sadly is now with the shepherds in the sky. The young lad on the right is a Turner Hall tup, that Anthony Hartley sold in 2014 as a 2 shear and three of his offspring females continue to produce superb lambs with whatever tup they are put to.
Please contact me for availability of sheep to buy in 2018.